Future farmers formed through MAO Organic Farms-UH partnership

>>Narrator: MAO Organic Farms in Wai‘anae
helps feed UH’s sustainability efforts, the community and some of Hawaiiʻs best restaurants. What’s not as widely known is how a unique
partnership between the farm and the University of Hawai’i is growing future farmers. MAO has been providing scholarships and stipends
for post-secondary expenses for qualified UH students through its Youth Leadership Training
program since 2001. [You know sustaintability and looking at it
from a system’s perspective.]>>Narrator: For more than 15 years, the MA‘O
program has supported more than 300 students from Leeward Community College, UH West O‘ahu
and UH Mānoa for a total value of more than $1 million in scholarships and other aid.>>UH West O‘ahu student Chelsie Onaga:
Itʻs definitely helping us go to school. Some of us might not be able to afford it
on our own, but by working here, we can afford to go to school and pursue a better education
for ourselves.>>MAO Organic Farms Executive Director Kukui
Maunakea-Forth: UH has been a great partner in terms of providing a foundation.>>Narrator: The practical fieldwork through
employment at MAO provides hands-on experience that is also invaluable to budding future
farmers.>>Leeward CC student Scott Kaeo: How much
millions of dollars of food are we importing from the mainland when we can grow it down
here, more cheaper and saves money and it’s more healthier. We are not GMO we are not pesticides.>>Narrator: UH West Oahu recently began offering
a bachelor’s of applied science degree in sustainable community food systems to help
to build Hawaii’s green-collar economy.>>UH West Oahu student Samantha Ahern: It’s
really cool to be able to put into action what we’re learning in the classroom.>>Onaga: It’s really good insight to see
how an acutual food system works.

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